Core Therapies

What is CBT?

One of the most widely known and practiced evidence-based therapies is called cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). CBT is one approach to understanding our mental health. CBT explains that our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings are all connected and impact each other. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people learn how to identify and change unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaviors.

A real-life example:

Imagine Mark found out that he was not invited to a party on Friday night. Mark may have the thought: “no one likes me.”

How do you think he feels? Probably, sad.

Our thoughts and feelings influence our behaviors (and vice versa). So maybe because Mark thinks that no one likes him and feels sad, he then decides to avoid that group of peers at lunch and sit in the school library. Then they also avoid him because he is being cold.

After spending lunch in the library and not hearing from some friends, Mark may have the thought, “Wow! I’m a loser” and start to feel even more upset. This all started with the assumption that Mark wasn’t invited to the party because no one likes him. Unfortunately, we don’t know why he wasn’t invited, so the assumption can have serious negative effects when the real reason he wasn’t invited was because of something else.

Do you see those connections? What we DO influences how we THINK and FEEL.

Behaviors Feeling anxious, sad, or angry is pretty natural, particularly during adolescence. There are a lot of transitions and stressors during these years. However, how you respond to these challenges can make a big difference.
Feelings There are reasons that humans (and animals) have emotions– we need them to survive! Emotions help prepare us for action as well as communicate to ourselves and others.


The way we think (our cognitions) influence what we do (our behavior) and how we feel (our emotions). CBT looks at the way we interpret events.

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You may be familiar with the terms therapy, psychotherapy, or counseling.

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Understanding DBT

DBT is a type of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan in the 1990s.

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DBT is an evidence-based treatment that helps individuals with emotional dysregulation difficulties.

Key Differences


Key differences include the emphasis of validation, or accepting uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.